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NFL Stars Defy Trump with Anthem Protests; 1 Killed, 7 Wounded by Masked Gunman in Tennessee; Phones Down, Power Out in Puerto Rico; Fans in London Reacts to Trump/NFL Controversy. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 25, 2017 - 02:00   ET


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: From San Diego to London, a show of unity as US football players respond to President Donald Trump's view that players who kneel during the national anthem should be fined.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: And new US travel restrictions have been unveiled after the Trump administration's revised travel plan expired on Sunday. The added countries the administration is now targeting.

CHURCH: Plus, for the first time in more than 50 years, a far-right political party will be represented in Germany's Parliament. What this historic election means for the country and the European Union.

HOWELL: It is historic indeed. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. It has been a busy weekend for US President Donald Trump. On Sunday, the White House announced new travel restrictions for people from eight countries trying to reach the United States.

The president is tying the move to national security. He said this in a statement from the White House. And I'm quoting directly.

"Following an extensive review by the Department of Homeland Security, we are taking action today to protect the safety and security of the American people," by establishing a minimum security baseline for entry into the United States.

HOWELL: The president is also keeping up his feud with US football players. He called for players who kneel and protest, protest expected in the United States, it is a right, protesting during the national anthem, he says that they should be fired.

On Sunday, many more kneeled. They kneeled in mass rebuke of President Trump.

CHURCH: And we will have more on those NFL protests in just a moment. But, first, let's focus on the new travel restrictions. They were announced right after the president's controversial travel ban expired and cover many of the same countries. For more, here is Laura Jarrett. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Trump administration has unveiled new travel restrictions on certain foreign nationals from eight countries. This time Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen as a replacement to a central portion of the controversial travel ban, which expired on Sunday morning.

Now, these new restrictions vary widely by country and they also include a phased-in approach. So, most of the limitations won't go into effect until mid-October.

For the last three months, though, the Trump administration has used an executive order to ban foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US unless they have "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity here in the country, in the US.

Now, individuals with that bona fide exception, like if you have a grandparent, they can still apply for visas until October 18th. But after that date, the new restrictions on travel will begin.

And in some instances, travel for immigrants will be broadly suspended across the board like in North Korea. Nobody can come in. Whereas for others, like Iran, those on student visas will be able to apply and to come into the country.

Now, I should mention, anyone with a current visa or a green card can always come in. Their documents will not be revoked.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the legality of the current travel ban next month. So, that's moving full steam ahead.

And President Trump already tweeting about the ban on Sunday, saying make America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.


HOWELL: That was our US justice reporter Laura Jarrett reporting. Laura, thank you. Now, let's get more context on this, more of the new restrictions from our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman following the story live this hour in Tokyo.

Ben, so this ban was mostly a list of Muslim majority nations. It's now been broadened. It includes Chad, Venezuela and North Korea added to this list.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, obviously, North Korea is an officially atheist country. Venezuela is a predominantly Catholic country.

But, really, we're still hearing the same echoes of what president - or rather, at the time, candidate Trump said during the campaign when he called for, in his words, a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. And I think some rights groups are going to latch on to that sort of statement and his tweets and use them to argue that this is simply the Muslim ban 3.0, in which they've added countries like North Korea, which frankly very few North Koreans, travel or can travel to the United States.

[02:05:18] The only prominent one to recently go to the United States was Ri Yong-Ho, the North Korean foreign minister, who, of course, gave that very strong speech against the United States, particularly President Trump during the United Nations General Assembly.

And, of course, President Trump tweeted afterwards his displeasure with this speech by the North Korean foreign minister. So, who knows, maybe that had something to do with the inclusion of a country that doesn't send tourists to the United States anyway. George?

HOWELL: Ben Wedeman live in Tokyo giving us more information on these new travel restrictions. Thank you for the reporting today.

CHURCH: All right. Let's turn to another big story we're following. Some NFL owners joined player in open protests against US President Donald Trump on Sunday.

HOWELL: Their mass display of solidarity played out before every single kickoff in Sunday's games in cities across the United States.

CHURCH: Some teams decided to stay in their locker rooms at the Chicago Bears/Pittsburgh Steelers game. Only one Steelers player stood on the field for the national anthem. They were all responding to this.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a (BLEEP) off the field right now. Out. He is fired. He's fired.


HOWELL: Yes. That's what he said. CNN's Boris Sanchez has more on the president's response from Washington.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president certainly making this issue a focus of his Sunday, arguing that NFL owners should get together and do something about NFL players that kneel down during the national anthem.

He tweeted about this several times, digging in his stance that he first vocalized during his rally in Alabama on Friday, saying that NFL owners should fire players that kneel during the anthem.

One of his tweets, he writes, "sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their national anthem or their country. NFL should change policy."

Earlier in the day, he actually re-tweeted someone who wrote that if players boycott our anthem, fans should boycott the NFL. The president again making the case that Americans should not stand for this sort of thing. In fact, he says that the majority of people agree with him.

Listen to more of what he had to say.

TRUMP: I think that the flag has to be respected, our country has to be respected. There's plenty of room to do other things, but our country has to be respected. And I've always felt very strongly about that. And by the way, most people agree with me.

SANCHEZ: One more interesting note from one of the gaggles that the president held with the press on Sunday. He says that race has nothing to do with this issue of players kneeling during the national anthem, that this is purely about people respecting the flag, people respecting their country.

If you go back to August of last year when Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the national anthem and many players followed suit, he made it very clear that the reason that he was protesting the national anthem was because he felt that police officers in this country did not respect communities of color. So, at least, to many of the players, this is about race. To the president, it is apparently not.

Let's put this in context. This reigniting of a controversy by the president on Friday night and into this weekend comes at a very interesting time where the White House is dealing with a lot of issues not only on the legislative front with another attempted repeal and replacement of Obamacare and a tax reform rollout set for later this week, but also escalating tensions with North Korea.

At one point, over the weekend, the president tweeting out that North Korean leadership may not be around much longer. So, it's certainly curious that the president would pick this time to focus on this issue and in this way.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.


CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about US politics is CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson. And on the other side of the political spectrum, CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson. Welcome gentlemen. Good to talk with you both.


CHURCH: So, let's get started. A lot to cover. Over the weekend, President Trump took aim at protesting NFL players who kneel and protest during the national anthem, saying they should be fired, but then players hit back with a show of defiance and unity by kneeling, locking arms and raising fists. Dave, to you first, is this an effort on the part of Mr. Trump to perhaps distract from the many issues plaguing him right now, including North Korea, the Russia probe, healthcare, the Kushner emails and, in just the last few hours, the new travel restrictions.

[02:10:13] DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think that's precisely what it is. This is another deflection. The president knows that he's a bull in a china shop and he is using this opportunity to stoke racial tensions even further than they are.

Obviously, it came on the heels of his pragmatic speech for a candidate who is poised to lose the Alabama special elections coming Tuesday, Luther Strange, the incumbent senator who was appointed recently.

And I think it is reflective of the fact that the president understands fundamentally that with John McCain coming out, saying no to the ACA repeal, Ted Cruz today, Susan Collins leaning heavily no, among other Republican senators, he simply doesn't have the vote for this healthcare bill.

Moreover, he is dealing with challenges in Iran and North Korea and he hasn't - he has failed to delivery anything meaningful in terms of legislative victories through the Congress. And so, this is a pivot opportunity for him to change the conversation.

We're clearly talking about it right now. I think it's strategic, but I think it's a mistake because the president, who's hovering around 37 percent approval rating at this point, really needs to start finding ways to unify the country, not further dividing.

CHURCH: All right. Ben, to you, a giant distraction on the part of Mr. Trump or a real issue for the embattled president?

FERGUSON: No, no. And if you know the president or you've been around this White House, this is definitely not as a distraction. What he saw was something that was very clear.

You have a lot of Americans that are in the NFL, that are disrespecting this country. You had American football players that went overseas and knelt during the national anthem overseas, but then stood for God Save the Queen.

That is, when you're going around the world, you're representing the National Football League of the United States of America, that's not the time to be un-American.

So, I think the president should talk about this. I also think you can talk about the other issues. Look, he's very focused on tax reform, for example. He doesn't take away from that. Talking about North Korea, he doesn't want to take away from that issue. He has been very clear on how he's doing with North Korea, and then very bold and blunt.

To say somehow that this is a distraction from those issues - and let's also be clear about the Affordable Care Act repeal and replace this week. It always going to be a tight vote, one or two votes was where it was before they even started talking about it because that's how close the majority is for the Republicans barely over the Democrats there.

The Republican senators, the same ones that have not helped him in the past, the same ones that aren't helping him this time.

So, to somehow say that the comments he made in Alabama were to distract from his legislative agenda is just incompetence. The president's agenda, he's focused on now more than ever because he does actually need these wins that you just heard him talk about a moment ago.

But to somehow say he doesn't want to focus on winning and, therefore, he's focusing on this is absurd and not understanding the politics of this White House or the president.

CHURCH: All right. Let's get one of those other issues then starting with the new travel restrictions, the White House just announced a few hours ago. Dave, how significant are those changes to what was a ban, now these restrictions affecting eight countries?

JACOBSON: Clearly, the president understands fundamentally that his initial ban has struggled through the courts where we've seen many times where we've gone through the process. And the president has continued to fail in the courts.

I think part of that was because it was emblematic of a Muslim ban, and so he's trying to pivot away from that narrative and trying to draw attention and making this more about certain countries that are essentially enemies of the United States, or perhaps individuals there who are affiliated with terrorist organizations.

And so, I think that was sort of the pivot to include nations like North Korea into sort of this process. I think because he knows it's going to be a steep hill to climb when this effort goes before the Supreme Court.

CHURCH: Ben, your response?

FERGUSON: I think it's an issue of national security and that's where you see the president changing and adapting here, bringing in things like North Korea.

Let's be clear, the majority of these countries are either direct threats to this country or they are countries that have aided and abetted ISIS and Al Qaeda or, the biggest one, the majority of these countries - the majority of the countries that have been named don't even have a centralized government that we can cross-check people coming into the US as a refugee status.

You cannot take that risk when we know that from findings that we found of ISIS and Al Qaeda online and also through raids that they have talked about basically using this loophole to their advantage and say, look, you say you are refugee, they cannot check with the government in this country because there is no central government that knows who these people are or know that they've been in trouble with or in prison or if they're murderers or rapists or anything else, use this to your advantage, the refugee status.

[02:15:04] So, I think the president was smart to change and adapt here and I think he'll be much more successful this time around.

CHURCH: And, Dave, we're learning from the lawyer of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner that the son-in-law of President Trump used a private email account, the correspondence with fellow administration officials. How significant do you think this is?

JACOBSON: Hypocrisy is simply boundless. This coming from somebody so closely aligned with the president, who railed against Hillary Clinton. I'm condoning Hillary Clinton for having the private server, but I think it's overly disingenuous for Jared Kushner to be working in the White House and communicating on a non-secure private email account independent of the White House server, which is set up to protect and enhance security for those within the building.

CHURCH: Ben, your response?

FERGUSON: Look, I think that there needs to be one email account used, if that's what the rules say. But let's also be clear about something, we don't know if this was a secure or non-secure email that was set up by Jared Kushner. So, to imply that it was unsecure is just not true yet because we don't know the facts on that.

The second thing is the majority of the correspondence was in response to people that emailed him to his private email and there - we're talking about seven emails or 7.2 emails on average per month since he got sworn in at the White House. So, this is nothing compared to what Hillary Clinton is doing.

Now, let me make it also clear. I think that if you need to have one email address that needs to be a government email address, make it clear.

I think these emails should be open to anyone in the government that wants to look at them to make sure there was nothing here that broke any rules. And we also have no indication that any of these private emails were classified in nature, which is exactly what tens of thousands of Hillary Clinton's were, so these are two different circumstances.

CHURCH: Ben Ferguson, Dave Jacobson, thank you, gentlemen, for joining us. We appreciate it.

FERGUSON: Thanks for having us.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

HOWELL: Now to Senate Republicans in the United States making a last- ditch effort to retool their healthcare bill in order to win over more members of their own party. A new version of the Graham-Cassidy Bill was circulated on Sunday. Senators John McCain and Rand Paul have opposed the latest effort to scrap the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Their colleagues Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have deep reservations.

Still ahead this hour on CNN NEWSROOM, an historic election in Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won a fourth term as that country's chancellor.

CHURCH: But she has some big challenges ahead. We will look at the major progress made by Germany's far-right party. We're back in just a moment.



[02:21:33] HOWELL: There is a new political reality in Germany after Sunday's general election there. The anti-immigrant party there is making major progress, called the Alternative for Germany or AfD. It's projected to become the third-largest party in the federal parliament.

CHURCH: Now, that has infuriated protesters across Germany. They shouted Nazis out and refugees are welcome. This will be the first time a far-right party moves into the Bundestag in over half a century.


FRAUKE PETRY, CO-CHAIR, ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY PARTY (through translator): Of course, it is a success that the AfD is entering parliament with these results, in light of the disastrous ideas of the chancellor and the Social Democrats, who have lost so dramatically.

But we still have to make clear that this result is not a political about-turn for Germany. And this is what we need. So, the AfD has to really use the four years in parliament, so that by 2021, at the latest, we are really able to introduce a real about-turn.


HOWELL: In the meantime, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she has secured a fourth term, but now she is politically weaker.

CHURCH: The main traditional parties took a hit and Ms. Merkel will likely have a hard time forming a coalition.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): After 12 years, given our responsibility to govern, we as the union, I can say, it's not too obvious that we are the strongest party again.

But the AfD made it into the German parliament. We will clearly analyze it. We wish to get the voters back in order to deal with good policy and also to take away their anxieties. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And CNN senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Berlin. Fred, always good to see you. So, Angela Merkel wins a fourth term as chancellor, but is weakened in the process. What will this mean for her politically going forward and just how challenging will it be now for her to lead Germany?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. Certainly, it's a very interesting outcome of this election that I think some commentators are saying, on the one hand, it's more of the same, but on the other hand it is certainly, to a certain extent, a political earthquake here in this country.

And I do have one of the most influential journalists in Germany with me, Tanit Koch from the BILD newspaper. And you wrote an op-ed about this election, saying that this is the fruit of fear, talking about the AfD, the right-wing party and the gains that they've made.

What do you mean by that and what do you think this means for Germany?

TANIT KOCH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, BILD: Well, fear because of Islamism, because of certain anxiety that cultural identity might change, crime rates may raise and those fears have been there much, much longer than the refugee crisis.

And a lot of parties didn't manage to address those fears properly and the AFD, which is a vicious nationalist party, sort of harvested from those fears.

PLEITGEN: But then do you believe with this outcome that there is a real shift within the German electorate or was this essentially a protest vote with voters saying, listen, established parties, you guys need to wake up.

KOCH: I think there is both. If you look at what happened in Saxony where AfD is the largest party, it's not just protest, but there is a lot of protest or a big protest element in it. So, there is actually a chance for the sort of democratic parties to do their job.

PLEITGEN: What do you think they did wrong? Because it's quite remarkable that if you look at the sort of top personnel of the AFD, someone like Alexander Gauland, a 73-year-old man, that he would be more inspiring to voters than a lot of these mainstream politicians here.

[02:25:13] KOCH: I'm not sure whether he is inspiring. Whenever you talk to people who voted AfD, a lot of them tell you, we actually - we don't even like them. We just know that giving them our vote is harming and annoying the other parties more than anything else, so more than staying at home and not voting at all.

And Alexander Gauland, who actually openly talked about disposing of a minister in Anatolia, disposing of somebody, for him to gain that many votes is, I think, not a very good signal, but it also shows that a lot of things have to be done and have to be addressed that maybe haven't been addressed or definitely haven't been addressed enough.

PLEITGEN: What about Chancellor Angela Merkel. As you know, the perception of her is very different internationally than it is probably here in Germany. She's seen as stability. She's seen as, some believe, the leader of the free world. What do you think were her mistakes and what does she need to do now when she forms a new coalition?

KOCH: Well, she hasn't managed to convince enough or at least as many people as she did convince in the last election that she really takes the concerns of people seriously. So, 33 per cent is not a good result for her. It's still good enough to form an election -

PLEITGEN: Is it Merkel fatigue or is it something that she - positions of her -

KOCH: The CDU and CSU lost a million voters, so there is some Merkel fatigue. But also CSU, for instance, the sister party, which is much more conservative than Merkel, lost 10 percent which is a total disaster in Bavaria.

And they lost a lot of those votes to the more liberal party, FDP. So, I think the challenge they had is actually to from a rather complicated coalition with the greens and the liberals with a very, very low common denominator.

PLEITGEN: Tanit Koch, thank you for joining us on this morning. And as you can see, a lot of coalition building to do, very complicated politics here.

George and Rosemary, we're going to be monitoring all of this, seeing what happens today. It's going to be a very interesting day, the day after this election took place to see how German politics re-jigs itself.

CHURCH: Surely will. Fred Pleitgen joining us there live from Berlin where it is nearly 8:30 in the morning. Many thanks to you.

We'll take a short break here, but still to come. More on Donald Trump's sparring with the NFL and where the controversy goes from here. We're back in a moment.


[02:30:57] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A warm welcome back to viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It is always good to have you with us. I'm George Howell.


Let's update you now on the top stories we've been following this hour.

(HEADLINES) HOWELL: In the United States, NFL football, it is getting political as players and owners protest recent comments by the president of the United States. Donald Trump says, players who kneel in protest, protest a free right here in the United States, but they should be fired when they do that during the national anthem.

CHURCH: Earlier, players had said they were calling attention to racial and social injustice. But on Sunday, many more players and even some owners joined together, kneeling or locking arms in solidarity at every single game Sunday. Even so, Donald Trump still thinks these players should lose their jobs.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The NFL has to work out their own problems. Their numbers are way down. And I think this is a big reason why their numbers are way down.


TRUMP: I'm just telling you, from my standpoint, I think it's very disrespectful to our country.


HOWELL: Let's bring in Christine Brennan, CNN sports analyst, and a sports columnist with "USA Today."

Christine, it's good to have you on the show with us this hour.

This Sunday before every game in the National Football League, the national anthem took front and center. National networks gave full coverage to it, paying very close attention to how these players would react to this latest controversy protesting social and racial injustice. And we saw many more players kneel, others locking arms as a sign of unity.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Absolutely. We saw some teams not even show up for the anthem. The Pittsburgh Steelers and also Tennessee and Seattle were playing each other, and they all just decided to stay off the field completely in a sign of solidarity. And I think also a sign that a lot of players didn't want to be out there for the anthem. Donald Trump, if he was hoping to get their attention, he got it. I'm not sure he wanted to get the reaction that he did. Because when you think about it, everyone was concerned about Colin Kaepernick a year or so ago. And now we're talking about probably over 100 players who actually took a knee, or some other way protested the national anthem. Not to mention almost every other player, George, who was at least linking arms with his teammates or his coaches. So it was a very big show of force. The NFL basically telling Donald Trump I think exactly what they thought of his comments in Alabama on Friday.

[02:34:56] HOWELL: This movement started by Colin Kaepernick to protest social and racial injustice. But with President Trump making himself personally part of this debate, he himself has become a lightning rod for protests among these players as well.

BRENNAN: Oh, absolutely, George. In fact, I think just -- I've not interviewed these players yet and we'll find out a lot more. But I think the protesting now is more anti-Donald Trump than it is about the issues that Kaepernick, the very serious issues that Kaepernick and some of the other players were protesting for over a year, which was their concerns about police brutal and violence, against African- Americans, and other issues involving African-Americans race relations, et cetera. Those are very significant issues. Whatever you think on the topic. That's important societal conversations that we should be having. But that I don't think was what this Sunday was about. To me, this was the NFL protesting against Donald Trump. Now, again, by having solidarity or by taking a knee, they may in their own mines have something. But the fact that we saw the magnitude that we did, it is because of Trump's comments on Friday. And the strong reaction from NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, from the union, and from player after player on Twitter, social media, and now when it gets to the field, when the games start, on the field itself. They really did take it right there. And I do think we should interpret it as a strong message against Donald Trump, and everything that he said, the terrible comments, the incendiary comments, the son of a blank comment, all those things and more were wrapped up in the NFL protests on Sunday.

HOWELL: What do you say to those who are critical of the president's motives who say that the solidarity that was shown on the football field, it gives way to imagery that the president can later turn around and later turn around and use as red meat to rally and rile up his base?

BRENNAN: I am, of course, a sports journalist. I'm not a political reporter. However, I also am an American citizen whose had her eyes opened over the last since November 8th, the election, or even before that. So my interpretation as an outsider looking at this, not as a sports journalist is when he was doing that on Friday, it sure sound like he was playing to some group of people by using that term "sons of blank," by being critical of African American players, again, I have no idea what Donald Trump's motivation. I don't think any of us can guess. But just from an outside view, as a journalist looking at it, it sure seemed that he was playing to his base. And I guess that's worked so far for him. I'm not a political scholar, so I have no idea. However, I do know this that the NFL may well have a bigger mega phone and as much as a presence on the national stage as Donald Trump. If there is anyone that can kind of go tit-for-tat with Donald Trump in terms of publicity, in terms of social media exposure, in terms of television coverage, the NFL is probably it. So after Donald Trump has been so critical of others over the last few months and gone after this or that group or what have you, you know, he may have picked on a group might just be able to handle him. And so far, it looks like they are. So, again, if there is political capital for Donald Trump, maybe. But in terms of the sports end of it and the cultural end, I think this is a big loss for Donald Trump after the first weekend.

HOWELL: Christine Brennan, we appreciate your time. Thank you.

BRENNAN: George, thank you very much.

CHURCH: Police say a man who was arrested near the White House Sunday had multiple weapons in his car. Authorities say they found nine guns, three knives, brass knuckles, suppressers and various types of ammunition.

HOWELL: According to the police report, the suspect told Secret Service officers that he was going to the White House to speak with the National Security Agency director and the defense secretary for advice on missing paychecks and to get a chip out of his head. He is facing multiple weapons violations charges.

A story to tell you about in the U.S. state of Tennessee. A gunman there opened fire at a church, killing one person, wounding seven others.

CHURCH: Police say he was wearing a mask at the time. But this man shot and killed a woman the church parking lot Sunday. Then went into the building and shot people at random.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has the latest.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation launching a civil rights investigation into this deadly church shooting.

Investigators in Tennessee alleging that Emanuel Samson, a 25-year-old man, arrived at Burnett Chapel Church of Christ, in Antioch, Tennessee, after Sunday service, armed with two weapons and opened fire. Investigators say the 25-year-old man shot and killed a woman in the parking lot before making his way into the sanctuary where he was reportedly confronted by Robert Engle, a 22-year-old usher, licensed to carry a firearm. Investigators saying there was a brief struggle between the two, at which point the suspect pistol whipped this 22-year-old usher who went to the parking lot to retrieve his weapon. When he returned, authorities say the suspect wounded himself before investigators moved in.

[02:40:29] STEVE ANDERSON, CHIEF, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: What I would say about Mr. Engle, the usher, he engaged the shooter and, during the struggle, the shooter was shot. We don't know how that hand, whether he shot himself or the gun discharged. Mr. Engle sustained serious injuries himself. And he's a hero. He stopped this madness. So we're very, very grateful to him.

SANDOVAL: Investigators say six people inside the sanctuary at the time were injured. They are expected to recover.

As for the suspect. We're told he has already recovered from his injuries and expected to face murder and attempted murder charges.

So as this state investigation continues trying to establish a motive, federal investigators are also joining in on the case.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: We'll take a short break right here. Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, desperation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria knocked out power and cell phone towers.

HOWELL: There are so many challenges to tell you about. People facing so many problems there, given the strength of the storm, just trying to get in touch with loved ones.


CHURCH: The death toll from last week's earthquake near Mexico City has risen to 319 people. And hope for finding more survivors beneath that rubble is starting to fade now. Several aftershocks have rattled Mexico in the past few day, including a 5.7 magnitude tremor early Sunday.

[02:45:05] HOWELL: It's a deadly earthquake. Also Sunday, the body of an adult woman was recovered from a collapsed school in Mexico City. 19 children and seven adults were killed at that school alone.

Now to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Most areas there still don't have rung water, still don't have power at this point. This after the Hurricane Maria tore through that region of this U.S. commonwealth last week.

CHURCH: Not only that, many residents having a hard time reaching their loved ones because most of the cell phone towers aren't working.

We get the latest now from CNN's Leyla Santiago.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From above, the images tell the story of Maria's destruction. But on the ground, the faces tell the story of its desperation, as many on this island of 3.5 million people struggle to reach their loved ones.

JOSE FLORES, PUERTO RICO RESIDENT: This is the only place where we can get signal.

SANTIAGO: On this highway overpass, dozens pull over, hoping that this spot is the one to reunite family, if only by voice.

Jose Flores drove for hours to get here, to get to cell service, to get to tell his daughter in Florida one thing.

FLORES: So I'll let my family know that we're fine.


SANTIAGO: For others, borrowed satellite phones are their last hope.

(on camera): People are trying anything they can to reach out. This note, handwritten, was passed along to our photographer in hopes that it would reach a loved one. It says, among other things, "Tony OK. Tony at Frank's house. And love you all."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Later that day, we were able to get a call out to his girlfriend in New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it was just such a relief. Neither I nor his family has slept all week just worrying about him.

SANTIAGO: An FCC report found 96 percent of cell towers in Puerto Rico are not working. The government here says it's trying to figure out which towers need generators and fuel to start working again. A small sign of hope on this island with so much to rebuild. For many year, the first chance to talk is the first step to recovery.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


CHURCH: Well, Maria is a grim memory for people in the Caribbean. But the storm isn't completely over.

Our Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us with the latest.

Derek, you're just back from the region, from Puerto Rico.

HOWELL: A lot of destruction there.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we saw it firsthand. It really is an ongoing humanitarian crisis. No water, no electricity. And no food for many. So you can imagine as the days and months go on, stresses will get worse for the people down there, unfortunately.

All right. Let's talk about the details. Because things have changed. Unfortunately, it appears as if this storm is going through a weakening stage, still churning across the Atlantic. This is a category 1. It was a category 2 about 12 hours ago. So some weakening taking place. This is all thanks to the colder waters that were kind of mixed up in the Atlantic Ocean from Hurricane Jose, believe it or not. This is interesting, because now the outer edges of Hurricane Maria will actually scrape the east coast of the United States. Right along the Cape Hatteras, specifically the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That's where we have our shading of yellow. Kill devils hill into Cape Hatteras and the nags head region. Even though the storm is going to stay well east of a landfall from the United States, the outer rain bands expand at least 200 to 300 kilometers away from the center of the storm. That's where we find some of the tropical storm-force winds. So you can see as we time this thing out by midday on Wednesday, that some of that dark shading of red and purple indicating winds in excess of 70 to 80 miles per hour that is tropical storm-force. Will reach, again, the coastline of North Carolina. So we're going to keep a very close eye on any shift to the west, obviously, will mean that more winds will move inland. Well, the other threats here would be large waves along the shoreline,

creating dangerous rip currents. In fact, some of the open ocean swells measuring six to nine meters that will equate to at least seven to 10-foot waves along the beach line. A rip current threat stretching from Florida to Cape Cod. Most of the rainfall will stay offshore. The chances of this bringing flooding rain to the east coast of the United States very slim. But, of course, the ongoing threat still looms across western Puerto Rico, where they have flash flood warnings. We've been talking about the dam that overflowed its bank, the Quajataca Dam in northwestern Puerto Rico. Any additional rainfall will put more stresses on that dam which is a concern for hundreds of thousands of people who live close to it.

[02:50:02] CHURCH: It is a real worry.

VAN DAM: It is.

HOWELL: Derek, thank you. And welcome back.

VAN DAM: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: Still ahead on NEWSROOM this hour, the president's latest adversary is football, the National Football League and players who protest during the national anthem.

CHURCH: How fans are reacting. We'll have that for you when we come back. Stay with us.




HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM. Now back to one of our top stories. American football players reacted Sunday to the president of the United States, his criticism of athletes who protest during the national anthem. Many players, many of the coaches, and owners kneeled or linked arms together at the beginning of their games.

CHURCH: Mr. Trump has called for players who take a knee during the anthem to be fired. And the controversy reached all the way to London.

CNN's Jim Boulden has more.


[02:54:45] JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The day of protests by NFL players actually started thousands of miles away from the United States here at London's Wembley Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens were taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars. A number of the players on both sides of the field actually did kneel down during the national anthem while some of the other officials and owners were arm and arm, standing in solidarity as well. The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars said it was a privilege to stand

on the sidelines with the team today for the national anthem. And he called President Trump's recent statements that some players should be suspended or fired as divisive and contentious.

We asked a few of the fans what they thought of the protests.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they are right. I think every American is -- they have their right to any opinion they want to hold, as long as it's peaceful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For them to kneel, it's a peaceful protest rather than a violent one that you see on the news and on social media. So they definitely have their right to do that. But I think they should keep in mind those -- that are on opposite sides, that they look up to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have the Pledge of Allegiance. We have certain things we are supposed to do, because that is how we were brought up, traditionally, to do so. And for anyone not to follow those traditions is really throwing, you know, their hands up to the Constitution and everything else that we were brought to honor.


BOULDEN: The NFL is marking 10 years since the first regular season game was held here at London's Wembley Stadium. But this one will be remembered for what happened before the kickoff.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Jim, thank you.

And thanks for being with us this hour.

I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. We'll be back with more from CNN NEWSROOM. stick around.